THE GRIP2 UMBRELLA IS CERTAINLY UNIQUE, BUT IS A SECOND GRIP REALLY NECESSARY? WHY CAN’T I JUST GRAB THE SHAFT?
Great question. That’s what most people instinctively do when trying to stay dry! But that’s a losing battle. Click here for a short video (2 min.) that covers the important control advantages of theGRIP2 umbrella. To put things in perspective, a 20mph wind (considered a “fresh breeze”) can create 10lbs or more of force on the canopy, and this must be countered at the grip point to keep the umbrella canopy between you and the rain. Imagine trying to hold a 10lb weight at the end of a 3ft stick, with someone randomly pulling that weight in different directions! We’d all instinctively “choke up” in an attempt to gain control. But you can’t get a “power grip” when holding a ½ inch diameter shaft with your fingers, and this quickly generates stress and fatigue in your fingers/hand/wrist. Using 2 hands isn’t always an option (e.g., you might be talking/texting/web surfing on your smart phone, or carrying something). Frequently, the end result is loss of umbrella control and you getting wet. In contrast, GRIP2’s repositionable, ergonomic grip lets you comfortably stabilize the umbrella and brace the canopy against the wind – with one hand – even in swirling winds.
WHAT’S THE BASIS FOR THE “70% EASIER TO CONTROL” CLAIM?
Basic physics! Wind hitting the canopy from the side causes the umbrella to rotate in your hand. The torque created at your hand is equal to the wind force (F) on the canopy times the distance (D) between the canopy and the grip location; T=FxD. By reducing the distance between grip position and canopy, the torque is reduced. Since you have to counter the wind-generated torque to keep the umbrella in position, it’s better to hold the umbrella closer to the canopy. But holding the skinny shaft introduces another problem: grip ergonomics. A “power grip” requires a grip diameter of 1¼ to 2 inches. Grabbing the skinny shaft (½ inch diameter) results in a “precision grip”, with a grip strength that is ~75% weaker than a power grip. While holding the shaft in calm conditions doesn’t create a lot of strain (since you’re not required to counter wind forces, just the weight of the umbrella), holding the shaft in windy conditions quickly creates stress in fingers & hand as you squeeze to maintain control and push against the wind to keep the umbrella in position. In the 20mph wind case from above, the torque on the hand could be 40 lbs or more at the handle and > 20lbs at mid shaft!
As a side note, grip ergonomics is the reason most hand tools that require application of force (e.g., hammer, paint roller, broom, rake) have a grip diameter of 1¼ – 2 inches. And imagine trying to lift weights at the gym with a ½ inch diameter bar!
Using a power grip located closer to the canopy provides much more comfortable, reliable and sustainable control. And it enables you to respond more quickly to swirling winds and sudden gusts. The combination of grip size and location is the key to staying dry.
So the elegant GRIP2 design addresses human factors by placing the right-sized grip in the right location for comfortable and reliable control with one hand (in most wind conditions; a two-handed grip is recommended in extreme wind conditions). Popular product review website Gizmodo called the design “sublimely genius“.
DOESN’T A VENTED CANOPY MAKE IT EASY TO DEAL WITH WINDY CONDITIONS?
Not really. But don’t get us wrong. Wind vents are great – several of our models feature a vented canopy. Vents protect the umbrella by allowing some of the wind flowing under the umbrella canopy to escape through the vents; this helps resist canopy inversion that could also damage your umbrella. But if the vents are venting, you’re getting wet! To stay dry, you need to brace the canopy AGAINST the wind, where wind vents do little good. Head wind? Vents offer little relief. Tail wind? Vents do no good, assuming you want to stay dry! Calm conditions? Vents do no good. In contrast, GRIP2’s movable grip works all the time, allowing you to comfortably maintain control, even in tough in tough conditions – and usually with one hand.
WHAT ABOUT COMPACT/FOLDING/TELESCOPIC UMBRELLAS?
Compact, folding umbrellas are very convenient to carry. In light rain with no wind, folding umbrellas provide sufficient head-and-shoulder coverage. But in wind-driven rain conditions, the small canopy doesn’t provide enough coverage to keep you dry from head to toe. And the metal frame may fail in strong gusts, permanently damaging the umbrella. Also, because the handle is very small and the shaft is very skinny, folding umbrellas can be difficult to hold and control in tough conditions. That means you get wet. The convenience of a folding umbrella comes with a significant compromise in performance and durability.
WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE ON PERFORMANCE?
If you want to comfortably stay dry in tough weather conditions, you need a large canopy umbrella you can comfortably control. GRAB CONTROL. STAY DRY. GRIP2.
THE G2 TRENDSETTER DECORATIONS ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE, BUT HOW DURABLE IS THE FINISH?
G2 TRENDSETTER umbrellas are a fusion of performance and fashion-forward design. The decorative patterns bring the same technology used in luxury vehicles, yachts, private aircraft and high-end recreational equipment to umbrella handles, transforming the GRIP2 umbrella into a lifestyle accessory that you’ll want to carry even when the chance of rain is small. To protect this unique, head-turning look, the grips are finished with an automobile-grade clear coat to protect them from wear during normal use and from UV exposure.